New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear on 19 November a plea challenging a clean chit given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others in the riots that took place in Gujarat in 2002, when he was chief minister of the state.
The petition was filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was among 69 people killed in Gulbarg housing society in Ahmedabad during the riots.
In October 2017, the Gujarat HC had rejected a plea by the widow challenging the findings of a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) that had cleared Modi and other top politicians and bureaucrats in the 2002 riots.
Jafri first petitioned the apex court in 2008 alleging a conspiracy. In response, the court, which had already ordered an SIT to be constituted to reinvestigate 2002 riots related cases in Gujarat, told SIT to look into Jafri’s complaint.
In 2011, the apex court referred the Gulbarg Society massacre to the district magistrate’s court as it was a local police matter. In 2012, the SIT submitted its report, which gave a clean chit to Modi and submitted it to the local magistrate’s court, which accepted the report. The petition by Jafri and Teesta Setalvad’s Citizens for Justice and Peace in Gujarat HC challenged the report and sought reinvestigation, which was rejected on grounds that it was not in the court’s powers to direct the SIT to reinvestigate the issue.